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Deputies: 14 charged in Polk County chop shop operation

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. - After a monthlong investigation, Polk County deputies said they have charged more than a dozen people who have been accused of being involved in a chop shop operation out of Auburndale.

Channel 9's Jorge Estevez found out it started with a burglary investigation in December 2012 and ended with deputies shutting down what they said was one of the largest chop shops they have seen in Polk County.

Deputies arrested Brent Burgett, who they referred to as "the Boss."

According to investigators, Burgett is responsible for running a chop shop.

"We are coming at these folks with a vengeance," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a news conference Friday afternoon.

Ten of the 14 people charged during the operation were charged with racketeering, which can mean a maximum 30-year sentence.

Investigators said the group is considered to be a very organized enterprise.

Judd described how everyone had a very specific assigned job.

Investigators said that at one point, the businesses bank account had as much as $100,000 in profits.

"That is what encourages burglars to do more and more burglaries," said Judd.

Eyewitness News first reported details of the investigation that started it all back in December when deputies arrested Burgett and his mother, Aleta Burgett, and their suspected business partner Alexander Bove.

During that operation, investigators said they seized stolen car parts and guns out of the shop which the suspects ran from a septic-tank store in Auburndale.

"We are going to break up rings in this county," said Judd.